A tasty celebration for our great friend JoAnn’s round number birthday

JoAnn’s family knows how to throw a party.

A toast from brother Michael.

A toast from brother Michael, to JoAnn with Brenda.

My dear wife Karen and I were fortunate enough to be part of the crew invited to the Aspen House in Radisson this past weekend to help our great friend JoAnn celebrate a nice, round number.

It’s hard to believe that one-half of the organizing committee for our fantastic cruise vacations has turned 70. So we got the message to join the other half, wife Brenda, and her family coming in from Arizona and a lot of the other folks who join us on those big ships for a great shindig.

A big spread.

A big spread.

Michael and his wife, Chrissy, were making it special. Chef Michael brought on the plane with them an Italian spread front their Tempe restaurant, RigaTony’s. The place is named after the siblings’ affable and conversant father, who worked their as the maitre D, JoAnn explained this night. She also revealed how TSA checked their coolers on the flight to Syracuse, but that’s another story.

Tony's three kids: Annette, Michael and JoAnn.

Tony’s three kids: Annette, Michael and JoAnn.

The meal was the most delicious I’d been served in a long time. Yes, Michael, his wife and other relatives brought to us all the salad and entrée and birthday cake.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

I went back for seconds, by invitation. And we packed a white styrofoam container for another meal at the urging of our hosts. If we ever get to Tempe, RigaTony’s is No. 1 on our restaurant list.

JoAnn also delivered a warming toast of friendship. It was a trying year for many reasons. They were so glad, all of them, to be together. Yes. Yes, indeed. Cheers, my friends. Thank you for everything, always.

What’s the best meal you’ve had lately, and why? What’s the best party you’ve been to lately, and why? What’s your favorite restaurant, and why?

8 thoughts on “A tasty celebration for our great friend JoAnn’s round number birthday

  1. Thank you so much for reviewing my party! Thank you so much for probably the best pictures taken that night. But most importantly Thank you for sharing the evening with us! May we all share many more happy healthy birthdays and vacations!


    • You all throw the best parties, JoAnn, and this one was truly special for a lot of reasons. We were honored to be part of the festivities.
      And I’m glad to be able to share the photos with the world. 🙂


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